facts about poppers  
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Top Ten Basic facts about poppers and facts about alkyl nitrites 

1) Poppersis the term used for alkyl nitrite (in particular, butyl nitrite and isobutyl nitrite) when it is inhaled as a recreational drug.

2) The term poppers was coined because when amyl nitrite first became available for medical use it was packaged in small glass capsules (pearl) with a melted glass stem which was broken off - popped - in order to release the contents.

3)It is illegal to sell poppers for recreational use in the United States (since 1991), although it is legal to buy, possess and use poppers recreationally.

4)Poppers are used recreationally because of their vasodilatory effect on the human body. Vasodilation means that blood vessels dilate which is said to improve anal sex and heighten male orgasm. The aroma of buytl or isobutyl nitrite is also said to have aphrodisiac properties.

5) Poppers advertising suggests that the use of poppers is largely the activity of sexually active gay men, although there are reports of the use of poppers also by women and straight men.

6)The use of poppers as a recreational drug is a modern phenomenum which grew commerecially during the late sixties and seventies until by 1977 it was said (Time Magazine) to be a $50 million a year business.

7)The poppers business took a downturn in the eighties and early nineties due to AIDS, anti-poppers legislation, and perhaps due to general exhaustion.

8)In 1981, Hank Wilson formed the Committee to Monitor Poppers which sought to find evidence against the use of poppers as a recreational drug. In that same year, the FDA issue a report claiming that there was no demostrable hazard and no reason to ban the use of poppers. The debate continued for ten years until poppers were finally banned in 1991.

9)The use of poppers in the past five years has begun to increase once again as poppers have become widely available on the Internet. Since 1991, a huge poppers black market has opened up.

10) Joseph Miller's company Rushbrands, was the largest producer of poppers in the United States. Joseph Miller and Rushbrands were also the authors of the pro-poppers website, allaboutpoppers.com.  Joe Miller and the original PWD brand died in August 2010.

1)Alkyl nitrite compounds were first discovered and used experimentally in 1859. 

2)The most common form of alkyl nitrite used for medical purposes is amyl nitrite, which was was first used by Sir Lauder Brunton in 1867.

3)In 1959, scientists and medical professionals declared 100 years of the completely safe use of alkyl nitrites for medical purposes.

4)There are three forms of alkyl nitrites in use: amyl, butyl, and isobutyl. There are also other forms which are not in use. All these different forms make up the family of compounds referred to as alkyl nitrites.

5)Alkyl nitrites are aliphatic esters of nitric acid. They are flammable, oxidizing materials, miscible with alcohol, and soluble in water.

6)Inhalation of alkyl nitrite into the human body causes vasodilation due to the release of the nitrite ion into the blood stream. This has a short-term effect of muscle relaxation, which is beneficial particularly for angina pectoris sufferers. The compound is said not to have an effect directly on the human heart, but this is rather a secondary effect due to muscle relaxation. Butyl nitrite and isobutyl nitrite also offer a distinctive scent which is said to have an aphrodisiac effect.

7)Alkyl nitrite compounds are most effectively absorbed into the blood stream via the lungs. Therefore, inhalation is the preferred method, although the compound can also be injected.

8)There is no evidence to suggest human tolerance or dependency (addiction) is caused by the use of alkyl nitrites.

9)Inhalation of alkyl nitrite causes the blood pressure to fall within ten seconds. The blood pressure is said to continue to fall for about thirty seconds and to return to normal after approximately a minute and a half.

10 There is no evidence of negative effects on any human organs due to prolonged or even chronic use of alkyl nitrite, although there are possible short term negative effects such as impotency, headaches, weakness and fainting (syncope). Alkyl nitrites are also extremlely flammable and will greatly damage human skin. (Click here for our Medical Advice section).

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